Professional woman on her computer and checking her phone in a cafe.

In LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2017 study, they discovered that 48% of talent leaders consider employee referrals a top channel for quality hires. If you’re a job seeker that wants to tap into that wealth of opportunity, it’s no surprise. In a time when it’s incredibly easy to apply with a resume, a referral will help you stand out. It’s all too easy for a resume to get lost through keyword filters and short attention spans. However, word of mouth from an employee can get you ahead. So if you want to stand out, we’ll show you the way in today’s blog.

The Value of Your Network

It’s no surprise that a strong network is an invaluable resource to a job seeker. If you’re wondering about the specific benefits, we’ve highlighted them in a previous blog. Building a network gives you an edge through the personal connections you share with everyone in it. If your develop your network right, that network will be a resource of great connections who will go to bat for you. So once you’ve done the legwork of growing your network, then it’s time to put it to work!

There are many perks to continually checking in with your network. For starters, it will keep you fresh in their mind, and you won’t miss out on any opportunities because they forgot about you. Being fresh on the mind of someone looking to hire is a great advantage. It also pays off by keeping you informed. If you can connect with others in your field, they can help you stay up to date on the latest trends and advancements. This keeps you informed to the latest and greatest, which will benefit you in your career. So, enough about benefits, it’s time to talk about how exactly you can put that network to work.

How to Connect

The best way to harness the power of your network is through communication. E-mail, phone, in person, texting, whatever is preferable. What’s wonderful is the form of communication doesn’t need to take any specific shape, it just needs to occur. Keeping in touch with your network will illustrate that you value the connection, and encourages them to do the same. You should play to the preferred format of communication of whoever you are interacting with. If they like meeting up for a cup of coffee to discuss what’s going on in your industry, take them up on the offer. Or, if they just like to check in with a phone call every once in a while, don’t let that call go to voicemail if you can. A good network connection will be active in their field, so they may be busy. It’s always helpful to be accommodating! So whatever shape that communication takes, seek it out and respond in kind.

Having these conversations and sit downs will benefit both parties involved. It’s invaluable to talk to someone in your field, and it’s also great to talk to someone outside. Both offer unique perspectives that will help your career. If you know someone who has worked in your profession for many years, they can provide you with unique insights, and tell you what to expect in the future. On the other hand, it can be incredibly rewarding to act as a mentor to a younger professional in your field. There’s no way to know what kind of relationship will form between you and your connections, but it’s almost guaranteed that you derive value from it. We hope this blog encourages you to keep in touch with your network. If you’ve had a positive experience doing so, let us know in the comments!